1963: Sam Jordan runs for mayor
Sam Jordan, longtime Bayview resident and owner of Sam Jordan’s Bar, makes history as the first African American man to run for mayor of San Francisco. In the 1963 race, he campaigns for equality, civil rights and the rights of working class citizens. Finishing fourth in a crowded field of eight candidates, Jordan paves the way for future African American officials elected in San Francisco.
1963: James Baldwin pays a visit
Author and activist James Baldwin visits Bayview-Hunters Point to document the lives of local residents in his film Take this Hammer. In bringing to light the marginalization of African Americans in San Francisco, Take This Hammer feeds the sentiment that leads to the 1966 Hunters Point Uprising and draws San Francisco further into the national Civil Rights Movement.
1966: A flashpoint for civil rights in San Francisco
Residents of Bayview-Hunters Point take to the streets in what becomes known as the Hunters Point Uprising. The 128-hour demonstration, which involves a standoff between residents and the California National Guard, is the most significant of its kind in San Francisco’s civil rights struggle.
During the demonstration a young Willie Brown, at the time a State Assemblyman, promises: “There will be real, meaningful changes in the lives of people in this community, in terms of jobs, in terms of housing, and in terms of education.”
The events bring attention to an area that has been largely neglected for almost two decades. The federal government grants $150 million for Bayview-Hunters Point to use at its discretion. The community elects to build 3,000 new homes on Hunters Point Hill and transform an area known as Butchertown into the India Basin Industrial Park. The rejuvenation creates more than 4,000 jobs, many of which are filled by workers from the Bayview-Hunters Point community.
At the time, five local women become the leaders of the community’s growth and rejuvenation: Eloise Westbrook, Julia Colmer, Rosalie Williams, Ms. Freeman and Oceola Washington.